Politics

Fort Bend County Sheriff Mum On Political Future

Republican Sheriff Troy Nehls, who recently announced he would not run for a third term, has been mentioned as a potential congressional candidate.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls won’t seek a third term, but also won’t say whether he plans to run for higher office. Still, the sheriff is leaving the door open.

Nehls has been discussed as a potential congressional candidate. But he told News 88-7 he isn’t willing to give up the sheriff’s post just yet. “There’s a resign-to-run provision in the Texas Constitution that does not allow for a current elected official to announce or say he’s going to run for something else,” Nehls said.

The Republican sheriff did give a time frame for making a decision. “If I chose to run for something else, a decision like that would be made towards the end of the year,” he said.

Nehls previously weighed and dismissed a primary challenge to GOP Congressman Pete Olson in 2018. Much of Olson’s district lies in Fort Bend County, which tilted Democratic last year.

Rice University political scientist Bob Stein said there’s another reason Nehls is being cautious. “His position’s up in 2020, but if he chooses to resign before his term expires, the county can fill his unexpired term,” Stein said. “Right now, the commissioners court is in Fort Bend Democratic, so they would probably appoint a Democrat.”

Troy Nehls confirmed he is trying to convince his twin brother to run for Fort Bend County Sheriff in 2020. Trever Nehls, the elected constable of Fort Bend County Precinct 4, is a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, currently preparing for deployment to Kuwait. At least one Democrat is planning to run for the sheriff’s office – Eric Fagan, a former Houston police officer with more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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